NEWS FROM ST MARY’S MAULDEN
An exciting new venture for St Mary’s Church was embarked upon in 2022 with brilliant results. St Mary the Virgin Church Maulden has taken part in a web-based award scheme for churches in England and Wales entitled Eco Church.
As well as being aimed at conservation and the improvement of our carbon footprint, it also serves to make us aware of how we can manage our church, the church grounds and all that the church encompasses. It doesn’t just look at the church as a building but looks beyond the wonderful church building itself into the wider context of the community that surrounds it. A large part of the award is looking out for others and helping each other as well as helping wildlife that is also intrinsic to the church and its wonderful grounds that we all enjoy so much. The PCC at St Mary the Virgin felt the need to do whatever we could to start our ecological journey at the earliest opportunity and try to achieve some of these goals. As a result of all the efforts we are really pleased to announce that we have not only attained the bronze award but have excelled our goals and have swiftly gone on to attain the silver award.
The scheme's principal aim is for churches to be able to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God's earth. The work that is carried out to achieve the ECO Church award includes engaging with the local community and including the message within our worship and teaching at the church to its congregation and the wider community of Maulden and beyond.
The Eco-Church vision is that churches of all denominations care for creation as an integral part of loving our neighbours and following God faithfully.
To attain the award you must achieve a level in the 5 designated categories which are - WORSHIP AND TEACHING: BUILDINGS: LAND: COMMUNITY AND GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: LIFESTYLE
Here are just a few examples of how we achieved the Bronze and Silver award in each of the categories and take into account our work both in and around the church itself as well as in and around the church hall and at the rectory too
Worship and teaching– We have ensured the inclusion in services of caring for Gods earth, praying for environmental issues and the promotion of Eco Church in church communications such as the Pew Sheets
Buildings - Measuring of our carbon footprint and aiming to reduce it, changing to energy efficient light bulbs, controlling heating and switching lights off. Recycling and not wasting resources.
Land - Retaining wild flowers in the church yard when mowing the grass areas and taking consideration with regard to conservation of grassland and wildlife. Composting. Encouraging people to walk in the churchyard. Dog bowls for use of walkers with dogs. The creation of the Rose Garden as well as the installation of bat boxes and bird boxes as well as the construction of bug and hedgehog hotels. Maintaining the garden area at the front of the church hall, planting spring flowering bulbs outside the church hall as well as taking care of and planting the garden area at the side of the church hall.
Community- Working with others within Maulden as well as beyond Maulden such as in Clophill and further afield too. Litter picking in Maulden and leaf clearing locally. Spreading the word and charity endeavours such as giving to the Need Project, collecting for foodbanks and donations to the Bedford CRIB appeal project. We have also promoted the ECO Church by way of an article written in our Maulden magazine as well as poster campaign throughout the village and promotion on local face book pages. The church magazine was also sent to La Roche and we have held a number of Bric -a-brac sales and social events.
A major addition to the church’s endeavours is the formation of the Eco Shop hub in the Church Hall. All items are either free of charge or for those who can afford to do so, a small donation. Why not visit the ECO Shop on one of its opening days, details are on set out on the St Mary the Virgin Church website.
Lifestyle- car sharing, walking to church, recycling, helping others understand and be aware of their carbon footprint and discussing how they can reduce it. Use of Fair Trade products.
It is a very involved process and the above is just a snapshot of what we have been up to in order to achieve the awards.
St Mary’s Church Maulden is very fortunate to have a group of people dedicated to the church and its many endeavours and St Mary’s the Virgin church is a vibrant, sociable, caring and proactive church serving the local and wider community in an exemplary fashion. Come and be a part of what goes on, even if only to visit the amazing church grounds or support the church events that take place throughout the year. Events details and information on church services can be located on the church website. https://www.stmarysmaulden.org/welcome.htm
Everyone can get involved in the Eco Church scheme and if you’d like further information please do not hesitate to contact the PCC
Visit the church website at https://www.stmarysmaulden.org/welcome.htm
For more information and news about Eco-Church visit ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/.